U.S. Fans Abound For WWC Final LeBron Praised For Role In Apatow's "Trainwreck" MLS Eyeing St. Paul For Expansion Club Angels Bad PR Continues With Dipoto Exit NBA Free Agency Begins With Money Flying Expectations High For NASCAR On NBC NBC Lands New Advertisers For Race Coverage Going Off The Grid Steelers Exploring '23 Super Bowl Bid GT To Benefit Financially From Ireland Game
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MA-based Woolf Associates has finalized a four-year glove deal with Mizuno on behalf of client Tom Glavine, making him one of Mizuno's feature glove endorsers. Glavine will be featured in Mizuno TV and print ads as well as POP sales displays, and will have a signature line of Mizuno youth gloves bearing his name. In addition, Mizuno will provide support for the GA Council on Child Abuse, a charity that Glavine is closely associated with (Woolf Associates).
THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY's first survey on the most marketable golfers under the age of 30 showed three golfers well ahead of the pack, with Justin Leonard and Phil Mickelson tying for first place and Ernie Els finishing a close third. David Duval and Casey Martin rounded out the top five. THE DAILY's survey excluded Tiger Woods, and instead focused on who is in the best position to capitalize on the increased interest of sponsors, marketers and consumers in the game, much of which can be attributed to Woods' arrival on the PGA Tour scene in '96. YOUNG GUNS: THE DAILY surveyed more than 25 sports industry leaders, including marketing and ad agency execs and members of the media, to determine the commercial viability of today's young golfers. All were asked: "Besides Tiger Woods, who do you consider to be the five most marketable golfers under the age of 30?" The top five:
% OF BALLOTS
1) Justin Leonard17796%9 1) Phil Mickelson17796%7 3) Ernie Els13292%6 4) David Duval5755%0 5) Casey Martin4441%3 ^ = excludes Tiger Woods
PHOTO FINISH: Respondents ranked their top five golfers in order of marketability, and points were awarded on a sliding scale. Both Mickelson and Leonard were named on all but one ballot. In addition to those above, others receiving first place votes were Stuart Appleby and Annika Sorenstam. PHIL-ER UP, JUST-IN TIME: Both Leonard and Mickelson offer a combination of skills and telegenic appeal, making them attractive as potential endorsers. Clarion Performance Properties Managing Dir Mike Reismann said Mickelson is "already an integral part of IBM's marketing strategy and will always be a terrific business-to-business marketing commodity." ISI Dir of Golf Management Andrew Witlieb feels that Mickelson "has the talent and the looks" that companies seek. But iGOLF Editorial Exec Editor Mike O'Bryon said that Mickelson must "play better to keep up his marketing value." As for Leonard, Clarion's Reismann pointed out that he "has yet to break through the commercial marketplace, however his All-American, clean-cut image will make him a lucrative endorser." The Marketing Arm Managing Dir Merrill Squires said Leonard's "clean-cut" image and his reputation as a "consistent winner" work in his favor. Additionally, Squires said Leonard "wants to work with companies," and his "interest in technology and [the] Internet" might make him a good fit for telecom companies. ERN-ING POWER: AP golf writer Ron Sirak feels Els "will challenge Woods as the best golfer in the world, and his easygoing style makes him appealing." Senior Golfer Exec Editor Chris Millard cited Els' marketing partnership with adidas, saying "the fact that they have tied their star to him says a lot about his international marketability." Clarion's Reismann added that as golf continues to grow internationally, Els "is the most likely to follow in the footsteps of global brands such as Woods and [Greg] Norman." GEN $$: David Duval, who sports sunglasses and a goatee on the course, could utilize his distinct look to differentiate himself from his colleagues. Both the AP's Sirak and ISI's Witlieb cited his "Gen X" appeal, and TMA's Squires said that he may be a "good point of difference," in that he does "not [have] the clean cut image of the others." THE CASE FOR CASEY: Some sense that Casey Martin could continue to cash in on the widespread exposure he received as a result of his suit against the PGA Tour. ESPN's Jimmy Roberts put Martin atop his list, calling him the "obvious choice." Hartford Courant golf writer Bruce Berlet said Martin's "uniqueness" will continue to make him marketable, and Woolf Golf Dir of Golf Marketing Jay Monahan said Martin "is in a position to become a marketing juggernaut." However, Advantage Int'l Senior VP/Athlete Marketing Tom George, who listed Martin among his top five, noted that his commercial viability may be fleeting and said he "would not make this list six months from now." Similarly, GolfWeek Senior Editor James Achenbach put Martin as the second-most marketable golfer, but added "sadly, he has no longevity." OTHERS TO WATCH: Although women golfers were not explicitly included in our survey, a few respondents included Sorenstam and Karrie Webb in their top five. Cohn & Wolfe Senior VP/Director, Sports & Events Jay Rosenstein put Sorenstam and Webb in his top two slots, respectively, and added that their rivalry "has the potential to lift both of them to higher visibility levels than each could achieve on their own." Other than Els, the most popular choice among foreign golfers was England's Lee Westwood. Westwood, who won last weekend's Freeport-McDermott Classic, appeared on 44% of the ballots. Australia's Stuart Appleby appeared on 15% of the ballots, and was the top choice of Lanktree Sports Celebrity President Nova Lanktree, who noted that "his name has come up often" in talks with companies seeking to use golfers in their TV and print campaigns. A STAR ON THE RISE? Univ. of TX senior Brad Elder, a member of the '97 Walker Cup team, was a surprise choice by 11% of respondents, with TMA's Squires saying he "could be brilliant" as an endorser. ESPN's Roberts noted that Elder is "tall, good-looking and easygoing," and added, "He's good ... and he's going to get a lot better" (THE DAILY). MORE FROM AUGUSTA: See (#23) for more on The Masters.
Dean Smith, John Wooden, Bobby Knight and Mike Krzyzewski have teamed with NY-based sports marketing and memorabilia company Steiner Sports to raise funds for cancer research. Steiner's new line of autographed basketballs will be available June 1, with proceeds benefiting the "Coaches Vs. Cancer" Foundation (Steiner Sports). NOTES: NJ-based Goldin Sports Marketing & Licensing (GSM&L) announced exclusive agreements with Hank Aaron, Pete Rose and Reggie Jackson, to appear this year on QVC, as well as work with GSM&L in the areas of memorabilia and collectibles. The first Goldin GSM&L QVC show aired last night at 11:00pm ET (GSM&L)....USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand examines new products in today's trading card market and writes "the hot trend is selling anything that doesn't look, well, like a pack of trading cards." Pinnacle Brands Chair Jerry Meyer, on the marketplace: "I don't think there's any doubt we have to reinvent the (product) category. And we've got a litany of new ideas" (USA TODAY, 4/9).
NO DEAL ON TOBACCO: Tobacco industry leaders yesterday said that they will no longer work with the Federal Government on comprehensive legislation to regulate tobacco. RJR Nabisco Chair Steven Goldstone said his company would "begin aggressively advertising cigarettes and fighting for their position in court" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/9). Part of the proposed agreement would ban the amount of tobacco advertising at sports venues and events (THE DAILY). TUBE TIME: Nets F Jayson Williams will appear in a PSA during this Sunday's Knicks-Heat game on NBC stressing child abuse prevention (NBAE). In the PSA, Williams says, "If you want to get physical with your children -- give them a hug" (N.Y. POST, 4/9)....AMF Bowling will debut four new TV spots featuring spokesperson Michael Jordan during ESPN's telecast of the '98 U.S. Open this Sunday from 4:00-5:30pm EDT (AMF). NOTES: Gatorade kicks off its NBA Dreams under-the-cap promo today, with Knicks G John Starks making surprise appearances at N.Y. area basketball courts for a game of G- A-T-O-R (Gatorade)....Former Univ. of NE football coach Tom Osborne has signed an endorsement/consulting deal with NE- based outdoor sporting good company Cabela's. He will serve as a spokesperson for Cabela's products and make appearances for the company. Terms were not disclosed (USA TODAY, 4/9). SHOE DEAL? Despite reports that HS basketball star Korleone Young "already is negotiating a shoe contract with Nike," Nike spokesperson Vizhier Mooney said the company has not extended an offer to Young. Mooney: "We feel he's a great player with a strong future in pro basketball" (USA TODAY, 4/9). In Providence, Bill Reynolds writes under the header, "Sneaker Companies Determine Who Walks, And Where." Big East Associate Commissioner Tom McElroy: "The sneaker companies are not just about making a job more attractive to a new coach. It's gone way beyond that. Now it affects recruiting, too" (Providence JOURNAL-BULLETIN, 4/9).
Umbro "is in danger of losing its new" $83.5M kit contract with the English soccer team, and has been given two weeks by the Football Association (FA) "to provide certain financial guarantees or the FA will abandon the deal," according to Patrick Harverson of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Umbro is "in the middle of a financial restructuring and has been unable to provide the guarantees of its long- term financial stability demanded by the FA." FA Commercial Dir Philip Carling said "there is a possibility the terms and conditions we require may be too onerous for Umbro to meet." But Umbro UK Marketing Dir Peter Draper: "We are confident of satisfying the [FA] that we can deliver a programme that meets the financial criteria." Harverson reports that if Umbro is unable to meet the financial guarantees, Nike, adidas and Puma, who bid before, "will be invited to re-tender" offers (FINANCIAL TIMES, 4/9).
Tennis Canada announced that Hummingbird Communications has signed on to become a major sponsor for the du Maurier Open, Canada's invitational tennis championship, August 1-9. Hummingbird's involvement is the company's first foray into sport sponsorship. As part of its partnership, Hummingbird is planning the "Hummingbird Stage," which will host the Official Draw and other entertainment events. The company will also receive signage on centre court (Tennis Canada).